Driving supercars around NYC is one of the many opulent dreams that inhabit the minds of millions worldwide who dream of living in the greatest city on earth. However, sportscars in NYC are not all they are cracked up to be. I just got the 2022 Chevrolet C8 Corvette Stingray press unit, and it is without question the coolest worst car to drive in NYC.
Why is driving a sports car in NYC so tough?
The 2022 C8 Corvette is an amazing value and an amazing bit of American sportscar design. However, driving on craggy, crowded streets teeming with yellow cars that only want to snap a mirror off makes a car with 500 hp, a comically low driving position, and no back window to speak of quite the bear to handle with any confidence.
As someone who has driven many different types of vehicles through Manhattan, I can tell you a lower-tier supercar is up there with pulling a trailer and driving a box truck. In a previous life, I was called upon regularly to drive Ferraris, Lamborghinis, McLarens, and other such cars through Manhattan. The potholes and lack of visibility are consistent with all these mid- and rear-engines supercars. However, the exotics get far more road respect than the Corvette has. This isn’t just vanity. That “road respect” has practical purposes as well.
In the Corvette, that interaction looks a little different. My journey from Chelsea down to Chinatown and back up to Harlem took about 2 hours, and I counted being aggressively cut off 14 times. This isn’t significant for NYC drivers, but it is when you are in something so flashy and obviously sporty.
My opinion is that people simply don’t view the Corvette with the same reverence as the exotic supercars. Is it becuase it’s American? Is it becuase it’s significantly cheaper? Or is it just that people don’t know how radical the new Corvettes really are?
I don’t know these answers, but there is a difference. Despite the taxing city driving, the Corvette hits all the same beats as those Ferraris and Lamborghinis, just at a quarter of the cost, in many cases.
How much does the 2022 Chevrolet Corvette cost?
The 2022 C8 Corvette starts at $60,900 for the base model “coupe” and $68,400 for the 2LT coupe before fees and taxes. Lastly, the 3LT coupe starts at $72,850. All versions of the Corvette are offered with a convertible option for a nearly $8,000 premium.
My 2022 Chevrolet C8 Corvette 2LT test unit clocked in at just a hair over $80,000. This tester came with over $10k in options alone.
The price of the newest Corvettes is shockingly low considering the price of other mid-engined supercars making around 500 hp. This is a major factor for why you won’t find me criticizing much about the car. It’s simple, too exciting, and reasonably priced to complain much.
However, NYC has a way of changing your perspective. After only 30 minutes of driving this Corvette around the city, I learned that I truly loved this car; I just hated driving it in NYC. While beyond reasonable for the car, the price is not all that reasonable for NYC. Between the radical driving style, overcrowded streets, swimming-pool-sized potholes, and parking driving an $80,000 supercar through Manhattan felt a little silly.
How much horsepower does the 2022 Corvette have?
The C8 Corvette might have moved the engine around a bit, but it is still the same 6.2-liter V8 making 490 horsepower and 470 lb-ft of torque. Car and Driver points out that the 2LT test unit also had the Z51 package giving the Corvette an electronic-limited-slip differential and a performance exhaust. This fancy exhaust pulls the total up to 495 ponies.
The Corvette’s motor is not only huge, but it’s very visible, thanks to its placement and the little window inside the car to check it out. This 6.2-liter V8 pairs with an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox.
These many performance parts add up to make a car that can rip a 0-60mph sprint in less than 3.0 seconds.
How long is the wait for a 2022 C8 Corvette?
C8 Corvette wait times will vary from dealer to dealer. In 2020, the wait time was only about 6-8 weeks. According to Autoevoloution, these days, the wait time ranges from 12 months to four years, depending on which trim level is ordered.
Why is there such a long wait? Well, there are supply chain issues, worker shortages, increased demand, and a series of other setbacks at the Corvette plant that have increased this wait time significantly. The longer the cars get pushed back, the more exclusive they get, also raising the demand.
The C8 Corvette is a force. There is nothing even kind of close to the Corvette when it comes to cost per horse. This is a true mid-engined supercar that starts at $60k. Think about that.
It’s no wonder the demand is sky-high. However, something tells me the NYC demand might be a little bit lower than some other areas of the country.